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Voice Dialogue Ads: What are They and How Do They Work?

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Voice dialogue ads are launching audio advertising into a new era.

A new wave of voice-enabled digital advertising has been slowly brewing underground since 2017. It wasn’t until the Spring of 2019, that voice dialogue ads went from something companies talked about doing down the road, to something they’re planning on launching to better interact with their customers today.

Some of the world’s biggest brands have started launching voice dialogue ads. And two of the most popular audio streaming services, Spotify and Pandora, announced voice dialogue ads integration on their platforms, suggesting to advertising industry experts that this is more than a fad or flash-in-the-pan.

Gone are the days where companies talk at their target audiences. With the growth of voice-enabled tech, consumers expect to have a personalized, voice-first dialogue with their favorite brands. 

As we move deeper into the voice first era, it’s vital that your brand prepares for their first voice dialogue ad campaign. We’re here to prepare you for that big step.

That’s why we chatted with Brian Mullins, the Client Happiness Manager at Instreamatic, the tech company that’s changing the audio ad industry with their voice dialogue ads, also referred to as interactive voice ads. Brian and the Instreamatic team have helped brands like Adidas, HP, KFC, Ford, Nissan, Starbucks, McDonalds, BMW, Chevrolet launch groundbreaking voice dialogue ads. 

In this article, Brian will answer some important questions like:

  • What is a voice dialogue ad?
  • How do they work?
  • How do you create one?
  • What platforms can I run a voice dialogue ad on?

Voice Dialogue Ads

A voice dialogue ad is an audio ad that allows the listener to respond and choose how they want to interact and engage with the audio advertisement.

Instead of just promoting a brand’s product, a voice dialogue ad could ask the listener if they wanted to find out more information about the advertised product. It humanizes the experience.

“It’s an ad that talks to you and you can talk back to it,” Brian says. “It opens up that dialogue that you definitely wouldn’t get with a one-way monologue ad.”

Brian says Instreamatic’s voice dialogue ad platform is powered by artificial intelligence that lets customers say much more than just ‘yes’ or ‘no’ when they’re interacting with voice dialogue ads.

As an example, a voice dialogue ad about a new laptop could include a verbal call-to-action, asking the listener if they want to learn more about the computer’s features. The listener would respond out loud to the ad through the microphone in their device. If the listener responds positively, like ‘that sounds cool’, ‘sure’ or ‘ya totally’, for example, the voice dialogue ad would provide more audio information about the product.

If they respond negatively, for instance, the user could say ‘not right now’, ‘I’ll pass’, ‘leave me alone’, ‘no’ or any other ‘negative’ response and the artificial intelligence of the ad will pick up on the negative response. The ad would end and continue to the podcast, music or other audio content on the audio streaming platform. 

For the longest time, a traditional audio ad wasn’t clickable. So there wasn’t any way for advertisers to know with certainty how many people who heard the ad actually went to find more out more product information or better yet, made a purchase. 

Now with a clear trackable target action, positive response, negative response or no response, voice dialogue ads will provide incredible data for brands to track on their audio ads. 

To sum it up, voice dialogue ads are a voice-activated version of dialogue advertising, where the consumer can ‘talk back’ to the advertisement.

How Do Voice Dialogue Ads Work?

Instreamatic and their team have developed a Voice AI program that is constantly learning and better understanding natural human dialogue. 

Here’s a sample format of a positive response interaction with a voice dialogue ad:

  1. Intro teaser script: Question is asked by the ad
  2. Listener says ‘yes’ or expresses a positive response
  3. Positive response script: Ad replies and tells you more information on offer
  4. Target action script: Ad offers whatever the desired target action is (e.g. opening up the advertised app, directions to the advertised restaurant, etc)

Voice Dialogue Ad Components

Essentially, there are three major components to any voice dialogue ad:

  1. Audio: Audio creative is uploaded and serves as the basis of the audio ad. 
  2. Target Actions: Target actions are used to draw the listener to a page, link, app or a desired action after a positive response by the listener.
  3. Final ad impression: Even if the listener isn’t interested, the impression isn’t lost. The ad can follow up and say, “Ok, ‘Brand Name’ is now taking you back to the music.” Ensuring that brand recall is sealed at the end. 

Need a visual of how these new audio ads actually work?

Check out this video of Waze’s voice dialogue ad campaign on Audiomack:

How Do You Create A Voice Dialogue Ad?

There are seven major steps to building out a voice dialogue ad. Let Brian break it down for you:

1. Determine Budget, Scope and Length

You and your creative team should first establish what your budget is, how long you’d like your ad to run for, what rates you’re willing to pay for and your cost-per-impression. 

2. Find Your Target Demographic

Once you have that sorted out, you’ll want to lock in your target demographics, what locations you want to target, what age range and what gender you’re looking to interact with.

3. Write Your Ad Script

After you have your target audience and budget in place, you need to tailor your message with a strong script. Brian says it’s important to put together multiple scripts for different interactions that could happen within the interactive voice ad. According to Brian there could be more than four scripts needed for varying interactions in the voice dialogue ad like: 

  1. Intro script
  2. Listener is interested script
  3. Listener isn’t interested script 
  4. Unintelligible or no response by user script

Check out these free sample scripts to kickstart your creative audio campaign.

4. Find A Voice Over Artist

There are two options you have when it comes to getting a voice over artist for your voice dialogue ad campaign. Either you already have an in-house voice your company uses for your ads or you need to hire a professional voice actor. 

You will need to find an engaging, conversational and personable voice to carry your audio ad and compel listeners to interact with your brand in a memorable way.

[Need to hire a professional voice actor for your voice dialogue ad campaign? Browse the world’s largest selection of voice actors today.]

5. Plug In The Ad Information

Brian says once the multiple script responses have recorded voice over, he inputs all the data into an advertising platform (Instreamatic uses Advibe).

Here is the information he inputs:

  • An ad booking is created
  • Name of the ad campaign
  • Dates of when the ad is set to run
  • Target demographics
  • Interested response limits per day (e.g. A store is selling a limited number of products in store, meaning there’s a limit of how many times people can express interest in that ad. Therefore, hundreds of people don’t show up to the store to find out it’s sold out.)

6. Decide Where To Publish

From there, it’s decided what networks the voice dialogue ads are going to be published on within Instreamatic’s integrated network of publishers. Brian says Instreamatic will target certain platforms, apps and devices that fit your target audience.

7. Launch Your Ad

Once all the data is inputted, the voice dialogue ad is ready to launch. Brian says it can go live pretty soon after.

“Usually, within 20 minutes of being created, that ad can start playing on those different platforms,” he says.

How Long Does It Take To Make a Voice Dialogue Ad?

Clearly, these tips provide a great visualization of the steps involved in creating these new audio ads. But you might be wondering how long it actually takes from start to finish for a voice dialogue ad campaign go live?

It’s just under three weeks, according to Brian.

“It takes about two and a half weeks from the first time we speak with you in an introductory call to the finished product,” he explains. “If you’re an advertiser with a budget and script ready to go, we can get you live in two weeks or less. If everything is ready, it’s a pretty quick turnaround.”

Voice Dialogue Ad Interactions

One thing that does need to be addressed is the average number of interactions in a typical voice dialogue ad. 

On the low end, you’re looking at three interactions if the listener wasn’t interested (e.g. ‘Hey, want to learn more about the latest smartphone?’ ‘No’ ‘Ok, Tim’s Tech is taking you back to the music.’)

On the high end, a voice dialogue ad could go run up to six or seven interactions. Brian says that’s common when the listener is providing unintelligible answers. 

“It only drags on if the ad can’t hear you. So let’s say you’re in the gym and it’s noisy. The ad will say ‘I’m sorry I can’t hear you’. It will ask one more time after that if it still can’t hear you. And if it still doesn’t understand you. It’s says something like, ‘we’ll try again later ‘Brand Name’ is taking you back to the music,” Brian explains.

And finally, if it’s a straightforward interaction with a positive response, then you’re looking at four interactions. 

Where Can I Launch A Voice Dialogue Ad?

There are a number of audio streaming networks, applications and platforms that your voice dialogue ad campaign can exist on. 

However, the most exciting platform to offer voice dialogue ads to date was just announced in the Spring of 2019.

Pandora partnered with Instreamatic to launch a groundbreaking voice dialogue ad beta in late 2019. 

Check out this detailed article walking you through how to use Pandora ads for your audio advertising strategy.

According to TechCrunch, brands looking to build a voice dialogue ad will need to provide their own voice solution or rely on Instreamatic if they want to participate in this burgeoning space.

[Looking for a signature voice for your first Pandora audio ad or voice dialogue ad campaign? Explore the world’s largest selection of professional voice actors for free today!]

Spotify is also launching voice dialogue ads in a much more limited fashion. Spotify’s voice dialogue ads will encourage the listener to say a verbal command to interact and explore other internal Spotify playlists, podcasts and content. 

Spotify is only testing out content promotion with their voice dialogue ads and, at this point in time, not allowing brands to utilize voice dialogue ads.

Voice Dialogue Ad Effectiveness

There is some substantial data suggesting voice dialogue ads are quite effective.

Users respond more positively towards voice dialogue ads than other forms of advertising. 

In fact, 39 percent of consumers who have come across voice dialogue ads have said they are less intrusive than traditional advertisements (i.e. print, TV, online and social media), according to Adobe. That same report said 39% believe the ads are more engaging as well.

“We saw a higher ad recall rate (30%) over traditional audio ads. We tried a voice dialogue audio ad with the same creative and it had a 30% higher ad recall rate over the traditional audio ad. That’s significantly higher than what you would see with traditional audio ads,” Brian says. 

On top of that, a study from Instreamatic, discovered that voice dialogue ads were 10 times more effective than other ads that ran through an online streaming service.

Recently, Instreamatic ran a voice dialogue ad campaign with a streaming service in Russia. While the voice dialogue ads only represented 1% of the total ad impressions, those ads actually brought in 10% of the revenue. 

This also led to a higher and more memorable reach of 58.3%, which exceeded the 25–35% average that was achieved with audio-only ads that have been utilized historically.

However, there are some things to keep in mind.

eMarketer found that around 42% of 1,079 survey respondents felt that digital ads are becoming ‘too aggressive’ as they follow users around on multiple browsers and devices. Voice dialogue advertising has to tread that line carefully or it runs the risk of further pushing consumers to the breaking point of ad fatigue. 

Hopefully, you feel fully equipped to tackle your first voice dialogue ad campaign. We’d love to hear about what you think about this groundbreaking audio ad format. How do you see your company using them? Excited for this new opportunity for voice actors?

Leave a comment below!

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